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By
AFP
Published
Oct 24, 2012
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British retail group says to overhaul Argos chain

By
AFP
Published
Oct 24, 2012

LONDON - Home Retail Group said on Wednesday it would close or relocate at least 75 of its Argos stores across Britain over the next five years to create a digital retailer of household consumer goods.



Argos, part of the Home Retail Group

Warning of "fragile" trading conditions, HRG said the bulk of its 739 Argos stores selling items ranging from televisions to beds, computers, toys and jewellery would also be converted into pick-up points for orders made online.

"Argos has reviewed its store estate on the basis of several factors, such as profitability, attractiveness of location, complexity of operations and overall fit for the new strategy," HRG said in a statement following a six-month review.

"As a result, it is likely that Argos will close or relocate at least 75 stores as their leases come to an end over the next five years."

Home Retail Group also revealed on Wednesday that its net profits soared by almost 80 percent to £36.5 million in the six months to September 1.

"During the first half of the year we took additional action to control costs, tightly managed our working capital and delivered a strong cash performance which has strengthened the group's financial position," said HRG chief executive Terry Duddy.

"Market conditions remain fragile and hence we will continue to plan cautiously, however we are in good operational shape as we approach our peak trading period" ahead of Christmas.

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